Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ is painfully sad and exciting. It is not merely a tale of wild, vindictive love, but more than that, it depicts a way of life as it existed in the Victorian times: the double standards, the hypocrisy, the subjugation of women and their second-grade treatment as if they were mere appendages to men. The way it juxtaposes passion with hatred, human depravity with moral values, peace with strife is absolutely remarkable. To think that the author was only in her twenties when she wrote it— seriously, it is so difficult to imagine that.
The narrative revolves around two families who live on the moors: the Earnshaws of the Wuthering Heights and the Lintons of the Thrushcross Grange. Catherine Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights is in love with Heathcliff, an orphan boy who was picked up by her father from the streets of Liverpool. Later as Catherine decides to marry Edgar Linton of Thrushcross Grange, Heathcliff is heartbroken and vengeful. He is not to be found for three years and when he returns he comes to know that his childhood sweetheart is not only married but is expecting a child from Edgar. That’s the agonising start of Heathcliff’s revenge and one that will lead him to destroy everything, including himself.